The South African flag flies at half mast behind the iconic Mandela statue at the entrance of the Groot Drakenstein Prison (formerly Victor Verster Prison) situated in the Cape Winelands.
Nelson Mandela tried to do that all his life when he was alive: to make peace with the political rivals. His death proved his motto in life once again as political opponents share the podium just in the memory of Mr Mandela. Starting with Canada, no one couple possibly imagine Canadian politicians of past and of present coming together for a cause. However, it has happened. Mr Mandela made it possible with his death.
The official delegation from Canada arrived at Mr Mandela's memorial at 5:25 pm (local time) on Monday. The team consisted of Prime Minister Stephen Harper along with former Prime Ministers Kim Campbell, Brian Mulroney and Jean Chrétien - The Canadian Press reports. These four politicians are well known for many a thing in the past but not for their friendship. Interestingly, one South African leader brought them under one shade at least for the moment. There are some other Canadians who are expected to join the funeral. The list includes Mr Mandela's former lawyer Quebec Liberal MP Irwin Cotler and Opposition leader Tom Mulcair.
Mr Mulroney said that he was a 'grumpy politician' no more. He, on the other hand, has become a statesman now, he said with a smile. Mr Chrétien who once made fun of the aircraft he flew in by calling it the 'Taj Mahal,' expressed his dissatisfaction openly because he had not used the aircraft during his tenure. Things look unexpectedly rosy all of a sudden.
However, Canada is not the only country which had the rare opportunity to put their political opponents into the same cage. Only an extremely rare situation like this could bring Cuban leader Raul Castro and U.S. President Barack Obama together. They are expected to address about 100,000 funeral-goers on Tuesday. Other esteemed speakers to address the people include Indian President Pranab Mukherjee, Namibian President Hifikepunye Pohamba and Brazilian President Dilma Roussef - The Star reports.
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